We are blessed in Mt Albert to have a tree-lined neighbourhood and our beautiful Maunga which provides such a great habitat for ourselves as well as our native wildlife. However, our wildlife is under pressure from introduced species. Our goal is to rid Owairaka from the most damaging pest animals and plants mid-term. Our current focus is on rats. A group of volunteers started controlling rats on the top of Ōwairaka / Mt Albert jointly with the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.
Thanks to funding from the Albert-Eden Local Board, we can offer households in our catchment area subsidised traps. The traps come in a sturdy wooden box to prevent access by pets, children and non-target species. The three components for success:
A single trap in a backyard may not have a major impact on a rat population. If we combine our efforts though, all of Ōwairaka becomes an unattractive place for rats. Ideally, we aim to have an active trap in every 5th to 6th backyard.
Keeping traps set all year round requires dedication in our busy lives. Here comes ANJA to the rescue. We focus on four pulses each year: August, November, January and April. Keeping our traps set in these four months each year is most effective based on their reproductive cycle.
You may catch a few rats or you may catch none. All that counts, is that you have your traps set correctly in the four months of our pulses. Ideally we'll get to a stage, we hardly catch any rat - simply because we managed to keep them out of Ōwairaka.
Our focus area covers the immediate slopes of Ōwairaka: Mt Albert Road to the East, the train tracks to the North and Te Auaunga / Oakley Creek to the West and South. This is the area we got funding for community rat control from the Albert-Eden Local Board.
For households within Ōwairaka the Albert-Eden Local Board subsidises professional traps in boxes for $5. For households outside Ōwairaka we sell them form $15.
To keep kids, pets and birds safe from the trap, we built wooden boxes as used by DOC. The traps are easy to set and simply baited with peanut butter.
Talk to your neighbours. Eradicating rats from Ōwairaka is very much a community effort. The best thing you can do apart from joining, is talking to some of your neighbours. The more we get to join, the harder it is for rats to establish a population.
Eradicating rats from Ōwairaka is very much a community effort. The best thing you can do apart from joining, is talking to some of your neighbours. The more we get to join, the harder it is for rats to establish a population.
Ideally, number of catches will go down over time. In order to get an understanding of the rat population and hot spots, we appreciate it if you report your catches here.